To the best of my knowledge, this is the first picture book about former President Jimmy Carter. Hard Work, but It’s Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter is a positive look at the life and times of Jimmy Carter. It highlights the major events in his life (as a child, navy, marriage, death of his father, going into politics and what happened after his term as President of the United States). There is also an author afterwards and a timeline included.
Muted but solid colors to the illustrations create a “feel good” atmosphere. Kyung Eun Han has nice illustrations, but they are more in the spirit of Carter and look less like him (there is one image on first look I was wondering why Bill Clinton was at the podium). Art and the text of Bethany Hegedus compliment each other. They both speak about and show the times (segregation, farming, politics and more).
The author comes out and says they are a Carter fan; he is a role model. This is most evident in, while showing some of the negative events (the Iran hostage situation) nothing is dwelled on. However, Hegedus wants to show the events that inspired them to create this picture book. In light of current events, Carter has been held up as an example of what a President should be like; as an example of a good person should be like. Love him or not, this book is a great introduction to the man who started as a peanut farmer and became President.